The Colorado Department of Social Services is now conducting its own investigation into the case. The review so far has revealed that the center failed to document internal training for some staffers, and that some staffers had not yet read and signed a statement defining child abuse and outlining their personal responsibility to report incidents of abuse. In addition, some staff members' files did not include required documentation that their names do not appear on the state's child abuse registry.
State investigators also have asked that Cleo Wallace provide to them in writing details of the physical restraint techniques its employees use, and have re-emphasized that facilities must inform the state in writing about the death of a patient. (Cleo Wallace directors phoned in their report to the department of social services, state officials say.)
But there is no indication in the state inspectors' report that staff members broke any rules regarding the use of physical restraint. That may be partly due to the fact that, when it comes to residential care centers for children and adolescents there virtually are none to break. The state is considering beefing up its restrictions surrounding the use of physical restraint at such centers, says Andrews. "I anticipate we'll have something fairly soon," she says. But for now, regulations on restraint forbid only the use of handcuffs or straps, and specify "holding" as the only method to be used.
New rules being considered might require the state to approve employee training regarding physical restraint, Andrews says, as well as a definition of "holding."
No matter how soon any changes come, however, they will come too late for Casey, whose ashes now rest atop a Japanese cabinet in his parents' home. Rose had planned to take the ashes and scatter them along a Utah trail that Casey loved. But she and Mike changed their minds. "He liked being home more than anything," Rose says of her son. "We're going to keep him home."